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The Mini Smokehouse

 
pollinator
Posts: 541
Location: Scioto county, Ohio, USA - Zone 6b
119
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I couldn't decide where to post this, but since it is a wood burning cooking apparatus, I figured it fit here as well as anywhere. It could also be somewhere in building or food preservation.

I am building this very tiny smokehouse out of scrounged materials, only buying the screws and some of the hardware that I couldn't find for free or didn't already have. I built the foundation out of concrete blocks leftover from an old kiln I built years ago. I had been using them for a potato tower. The frame and walls are untreated shipping stringers I got for free. The roof is a sheet of roofing metal I found at the recycling center. The door and the draft flap are boards from a desk we found left out for the garbage man. The hanging rack is made of unfinished oak table legs. I am forging the hooks to hang the meat out of scrap mild steel and will pickle them in a foodsafe acid to resist rust. The firebox is a crappy portable grill that I am modifying to suit the task. I have already removed the hinge pin holding the lid on, and will be adding more holes in the bottom so it doesn't go out easily from lack of air.

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pollinator
Posts: 256
Location: Vermont, annual average precipitation is 39.87 Inches
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I am very interested in seeing yoir progress.  Thanks for posting!
 
Ryan Hobbs
pollinator
Posts: 541
Location: Scioto county, Ohio, USA - Zone 6b
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We have done a lot of work today. I had to hew a board to make it fit because we don't have a rip saw but we do have axes. It fits perfectly. You will see my brother Jacob in some of the pictures. He was a huge help. We expect to finish it in an hour tomorrow morning. And after running an errand, we will begin smoking the bacon I set to cure on tuesday.
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Ryan Hobbs
pollinator
Posts: 541
Location: Scioto county, Ohio, USA - Zone 6b
119
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WE MADE BACON!!! The smokehouse is finished. We worked out how to regulate the fire early on and the draft regulator flap (above the door) works wonderfully.
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Ryan Hobbs
pollinator
Posts: 541
Location: Scioto county, Ohio, USA - Zone 6b
119
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We walk you through the features of our smokehouse:

 
Ryan Hobbs
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Posts: 541
Location: Scioto county, Ohio, USA - Zone 6b
119
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The last really gnarly wind storm tore the roof off, flung the wood part across the yard, and knocked over the bricks. I fixed it all up, and expecting more wind, added a post driven into the ground and nailed to the wall on the lee of prevailing winds.
 
Ryan Hobbs
pollinator
Posts: 541
Location: Scioto county, Ohio, USA - Zone 6b
119
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We sold the smoke house above on craigslist when we moved.

I need one that can fit 2 pigs worth of Bacon, Ham, Jowl, Fatback, and sausages. I want to do it without nails because they work themselves loose with the expansion and contraction of the wood both seasonally and because of the periodic warmth inside. I want to do it without glue or paint because of the delicate nature of smoking very valuable meat. I would be open to lime wash on the exterior like what was done in the 1700s. Not sure on roof materials. I might make clay roof tiles. (I’m a classically trained potter but failed to make money doing it.)

So I figure a smokehouse 6’Wx6’Lx10’H with an exterior smoke generator ought to do nicely. I can timber frame it. Not sure if I want to do clapboards or boards fitted into a sliding dovetail in the beams and set flush with them from the outside. Alternatively, I could do a cob-on-wattle wall with lime plaster on the outside. The foundation is also a major concern. It needs to be fireproof for safety. It needs to not shift during frost heaving. So there are basically several options here. We can do a gravel filled trench going down about 12-14 inches, topped with stone; or we can do a mortared stone (or brick) wall going down 30 inches.


Here is my concept sketch of the smokehouse with plastered cob walls.

I also considered a slightly different Roof design with a shelter for smoking wood:
 
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